Expert Doctor

Hi Def Liposuction

Hi-Def liposuction is a liposuction procedure that uses Vaser technology, or ultrasonic waves, to remove stubborn pockets of fat while contouring and sculpting the anatomical features of the body. This type of procedure can remove fat from the superficial and deep adipose tissue layers to sculpt the body. Hi-Def liposuction can be used on most areas of the body including the arms, shoulders, pecs, torso, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, legs and calves. Hi-Def liposuction is also known as Hi-Definition Vaser Liposuction and Hi-Def liposculpture since it can grant the appearance of a naturally toned physique.

Am I a Good Candidate for Hi-Def Liposuction?

A GOOD CANDIDATE for Hi-Def liposuction includes:

  • A patient who wishes to eliminate fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise
  • Patients who want liposuction in delicate areas of the body to create better definition or body sculpting
  • Any male or female patient with a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) and near their ideal body weight
  • Patients with good skin tone and decent muscle tone

The following patients are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES for Hi-Def liposuction:

  • Patients who are overweight or obese
  • A patient who has significant weight fluctuations
  • Patients with excess, hanging skin or mild to moderate skin laxity

How is Hi-Def Liposuction Performed?

Hi-Def liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia with light sedation, IV sedation or general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia depends on the extent of the procedure, the number of regions to be treated and the preference of the patient. At the start of the treatment, the surgeon will mark the areas to be treated. The markings will be very detailed to shape the precise shadowing that will replicate the underlying anatomy. Hi-Def liposuction will be performed in steps:

  1. The treatment area will be infiltrated with a tumescent solution which is mixed with anesthetics
  2. Ultrasonic probes are inserted through small incisions into the fatty tissue
  3. The vibration emitted from the ultrasound causes the expansion and contraction of air bubbles in the tumescent fluid
  4. The air bubbles collapse and gently disengage or loosen the fat cells from the nerves and blood vessels
  5. The fat cells are mixed with the tumescent fluid and a small cannula is used to suction away the liquid with the fat cells
  6. The surrounding tissue is left intact and unharmed

Others Uses for the Removed Fat

The fat that is removed can be injected into other areas of the body to enhance or create natural volume in those areas. These areas include the breasts, buttocks, abdomen, pecs, face, shoulders and calves.

Performed Along with Other Procedures

Hi-Def liposuction can be performed at the same time as other cosmetic procedures such as breast implants, a tummy tuck or short scar abdominoplasty.

What is the Cost of Hi-Def Liposuction?

Hi-Def liposuction can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on how many areas are being treated. The cost can also vary according to the size and location of fat to be removed. If the removed fat is used to enhance other regions of the body, this will create an additional cost.

Recovery and Downtime

While there will be some degree of discomfort after Hi-Def liposuction, the discomfort can easily be controlled with medication at the start of the RECOVERY process. Patients are advised to take all medications as directed and keep hydrated to help with healing. Most patients are walking around the house, unassisted, after a day or two. It is common to have some swelling but a compression garment will be worn on the treatment area to minimize pain and swelling. This garment will be worn for 3 to 6 weeks, post-surgery, and will also help the skin to retract. Patients will need to commit to post-procedure ultrasound or lymphatic massages during the first 2 weeks after surgery. These treatments help the patient obtain the most optimal results after Hi-Def liposuction.

When it comes to DOWNTIME, patients should expect to take off about 4 to 7 days of work while also avoiding strenuous activities for 2 to 4 weeks.


Some results can be seen at about 6 weeks when most of the swelling and bruising has decreased. However, it can take up to 6 months for the residual swelling to subside and the final outcome to be apparent. While one treatment can often give the desired results, some patients prefer a touch-up procedure to gain better definition. The touch-up procedure typically involves removing less fat than the initial procedure so it has less recovery time. The results from Hi-Def liposuction are permanent since the removed fat cells can never come back. However, the neighboring fat cells can increase in size if a proper diet and exercise routine is not established. To maintain the results, the patient must eat a well-balanced diet and follow a sufficient exercise regimen.

Limitations of Hi-Def Liposuction 

The limitations involved with Hi-Def liposuction include:

  • The amount of fat that can be safely removed at one time
  • It is not a weight loss treatment
  • The amount of local anesthetic which can be safely used during the treatment
  • Multiple areas of treatment may need to be split into two sessions at 1-6 weeks apart
  • The amount of skin tightening the procedure can provide

Risks of Hi-Def Liposuction

The risks of Hi-Def liposuction include:

  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Bleeding
  • Persistent swelling
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to the underlying structures
  • Skin irregularities
  • Asymmetry
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin laxity

Consult with a Board-Certified Surgeon

Hi-Def liposuction can remove unwanted fat while sculpting the body for better definition. This type of liposuction has fewer risks than traditional liposuction since it uses ultrasound energy to loosen the fat cells from the surrounding tissue. Prospective patients should consult with a board-certified surgeon, skilled with the Vaser system, who performs the procedure often. An adequately skilled surgeon reduces the possible risks while providing a more optimal outcome.

Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- MA

 Exclusive interview provided by Dr. John Millard of Millard Plastic Surgery in Denver, CO.